Sunday, February 5, 2012

Septuagesima Missa Cantata

Numbers are up again: as M.C., I like to take a quick head count of the congregation during those parts of the fore-Mass when Father sits at the chair, since then I stand facing the nave at his right; and, although my view of the south side is obscured by the eagle lectern, I estimated about fifty persons in attendance – well up on our last Mass a fortnight ago.  Neither did this slacken the pace: Mass took a respectable hour and five minutes.

The choir, very sensibly, have moved from the west end gallery to the south transept, making it easier for them to get to the altar rails; and as usual they sang well, though I wasn't expecting them to psalm-tone the Tract, and hence had a rush to return Father to the altar for the blessing the incense before the Gospel!  (Memo to self: always consult the choir director before Mass to hear exactly what they will sing.)  As it was, they graced the offertory with a very moving setting of the Sub tuum to Slavonic chant, the Canon with the Czech Sanctus (alternating Gregorian chant and polyphony) and a melodic Anima Christi in several parts after Communion.  Very kindly, they even acceded to my own request and sang the simple Salve Regina as a recessional.

I was glad to hear from our celebrant, at lunch following Mass, that he and many others of the Australian Confraternity of Catholic Clergy will be heading up to Armidale this week for the consecration of their national President as Bishop of that diocese: ad multos annos!  He is the second past president of the A.C.C.C. to be made a bishop (my erstwhile parish priest Geoffrey Jarrett being the first), and the first alumnus of Vianney Seminary, Wagga Wagga, to be raised to the episcopate.  May the dioceses of this wide brown land be blessed with many more such worthy successors of the Apostles, please God!

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